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The Wealth Transfer Rises to $68 Trillion

Bill High

Bill High

July 26, 2019

The U.S. wealth transfer number has gone up.

As recently as early fall of 2018, the going number for the Great Wealth Transfer was $59 trillion by 2030. But the projected wealth transfer is now an unprecedented $68 trillion over the next 25 years, according to a Fox Business article that reports on a study by Cerulli Associates in Boston.

What does $68 trillion look like? A Kiplinger article from a few years back attempts to put $1 trillion into perspective in terms of buying power.

A few ways to spend $1 trillion

  1. You could buy nearly 42 million new cars with an average sticker price of $23,000 with $1 trillion.
  2. A year’s salary ($55,300) for 18 million teachers—alternatively, $1 trillion would pay the salaries of America’s approximately 2 million elementary school teachers for 9 years.
  3. Lebron James under contract for 25,974 years with his current contract of $38.5 million per year.
  4. $12.9 billion of interest on a one-year CD at just 1.29% of interest.
  5. $1 million a day of spending for 3,000 years.

And all of those figures are for just $1 trillion. Multiply each of the above numbers by 68 to see how big the number is.

Giving it away?

Now, imagine if just 1% of that were given to Kingdom causes. It would yield $680 billion. To put that number in perspective, there are 150 Christian colleges in the U.S. and Canada. Even if we gave each of them a $1 billion endowment, we’d still have $530 billion left.

While the article accurately notes that much of that wealth transfer will become inherited wealth, it further notes that much of the transfer will likely be given to charity.

Millennials, in particular, will invest and give with the community in mind. They also may invest differently from their parents, giving greater weight to social responsibility.

Engage the wealth transfer generations

The implications are many.

Foundations and donor advised fund holders need to make sure that donor intent is documented and upheld.

Families should begin early in including the younger generation in giving decisions. Giving as a family is a great help in discovering and transferring the values that you want to pass on.

Advisors will need to embrace the relationship with the younger generation or risk losing clients as parents pass away and leave the reins to heirs.

Whether donor, heir, charity, or advisor, the message is clear: the time to plan is now.

About Bill High

Bill High

Bill High is the Founder of The Signatry. His mission is to empower families in building multi–generational legacies of generosity. Bill works with families, individual givers and financial advisors, with expertise in guiding business owners looking to sell or transition their business to the next generation.

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